DUCK. (Anas, Linn.) A very extensive and natural genus of water birds, which are found in all parts of the world. It has been divided by naturalists into an infinity of different genera; to such a degree, indeed, that, according to some of the distinctions which have been made, it would be impossible to leave the females of several species in the same genus with the males. The Prince of Musignano is of opinion, that they might be advantageously separated into four sub-genera, in which we shall follow him. These are anser, or goose, cygnus, or swan, anas, or duck, and Jiiiigula. Thirty one species of this interesting genus inhabit North America, being within one of the number found in Europe; of these, twenty-one are common to the two continents, leaving ten peculiar to America, and eleven to Europe. The mallard, or common wild duck (anus boschas), is found both in Europe and America. This is the original stock of the domesticated duck, which appears to have been reclaimed at a very early period. See Mallard, Wild-duck, &c.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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